Category Archives: Race Report

Veterans Day 10k Race Report

I spent all weekend sick.  Friday night my sore throat came back with a vengeance so I skipped my run with the group on Saturday (my last run with them in a month and I couldn’t make it…).

Saturday was a day of running errands (since Wednesday I leave for Brazil to do this).  I finally got my hair highlighted, and honestly can’t see much of a difference, WTF.  (And how the heck do women do this stuff with frequency?  I was at the hair salon for about 2.5 hours!!!)  I then hung out with my sister and her family for a bit, and they’re still devastated.  I even went to the vet and picked up Luna’s collar, and promptly burst into tears (I’m just glad I got to do that — if I was that emotional receiving her collar from the vet, I can’t even imagine how hard it would have been for my sister or brother-in-law to have to do this).

Saturday night I was still feeling like crap.  My throat was much better, but my overall well-being was not.  Sunday when the alarm rang I knew I shouldn’t be running while I still have the flu.  Sure, my fever had dissipated by then, but I was still very much sick, coughing things up (yuck).  But Hugi was running the Veterans Day 10k with me and we had signed up together.  Plus, it was going to be my last race of the year too.

I had given up on my PR, I was feeling miserable before the run, and I knew it would only get worse when I started moving (and I was right).  I considered going and not running, but it was too cold to stand around.  So I figured I would run with no time expectations.  After a bit of a parking challenge, I ended up missing the group by a mere 3 minutes.

To add to my morning’s frustration, I also forgot to grab my Garmin on my way out of the house.  I don’t run for a week and already have my whole pre-run routine out of whack!

It was really cold at the start, but because I was sick, I promised myself that no matter how warm I got, I would not take off my layers, with exception of my ear warmer.  I had on capris, my long-sleeve running shirt, my awesome MCM windbreaker (I NEVER run with a windbreaker because it makes me too warm), gloves and ear warmer.

The race was very very very crowded.  The course is perfect for a PR, since it’s an out and back course down Ohio Dr. into Hains Point — for those of you not from the area, this is 100% flat, except for a minuscule bridge over the end of the Tidal Basin.  But this race is not a PR-appropriate race, because of the crowds.

It was super crowded from the start, trying to fit roughly 2,300 people on a 4 lane road, that condenses into two lanes after the first half mile.  To make matters worse, since it’s an out-and-back course, as soon as the fast people start coming through, everyone is then squishing into one lane until the very end.  I had to deal with people coming in the opposite way, taking more than their lane and had to dodge them around. (Seriously, folks, sure, you’re going into the incoming lane in order to pass people, but it’s YOUR responsibility to dodge the runners coming in the opposite direction, not the other way around!  If I’m staying within my lane, get out of my way!)

I tagged along with Hugi for about a mile and a half, but I was feeling absolutely miserable.  Not only was I considering walking until the finish, but for the first time ever, in any race I’ve ever done, I considered quitting.  I thought:  “I can go onto the side, rip off my bib and timing chip, and just walk back on the grass.  No one will know I’m a quitter.  And I don’t care if I’m one, I’m sick!”  But somehow I kept moving along.

Instead, I told Hugi to keep pushing forward, that I was going to slow down a bit.  I figured if I slow down first, I might not have to walk.

I was warm, removed my ear warmer, but just as I had promised, I didn’t take anything else off.  I knew it was cold out, and having the flu, not having enough layers would just make it worse.  I was having a really tough time, and felt like I was running super-slow.  I didn’t have a watch, the mile-markers were not timed, so I could only guess how slow I was running.  I figured it was probably a 12:30 pace, maybe even slower.  I kept slowing down as the miles come by.  I was truly miserable the whole time, and just wanted this to be over with.  I was actually glad I didn’t have my Garmin, otherwise I know I would be more worried about my pace.

Once I hit the third mile marker, I knew I would have to finish, quitting was not longer an option (the joys of an out and back course).  I didn’t want to walk, because I knew that would just delay the time I was out there on the cold, plus I knew I would start feeling cold if I stopped.  So I kept slogging my way through, and only allowed myself to quickly walk at the water stops (there were two — at mile 2 and 4).

This was my third worse race experience ever (first being the Zooma Half Marathon, second being the Riverfront Revolution 10k from last year).  This time, it was not the race’s fault though (while the other two experiences had all to do with bad race logistics and organization), this was absolutely my fault.

To sum it up:  I really should not have run yesterday.  It wasn’t just a cold, it was the flu.  I was miserable the whole time, coughing and blowing my nose.

During the whole race people constantly passed me, I knew I was going slower and slower.  When we finally passed the Tidal Basin bridge again, I could see the finish line, but had nothing on me to try to go faster (you know when it feels like you’ve been sprinting the whole time, even though you know you’re not?  Ugh).

I told myself that I would push it after I passed the 6 mile marker, so when I passed it, I pushed as much as I could, and actually crossed the finish line on a true sprint, looking strong (but truly about to pass out).

I was surprised the time at the finish said 1:04:32.  So I did get a PR after all, even if I didn’t break the hour mark.  Later, when the official results came out, I was further surprised that my net finish time was 1:03:30 — a 10:14 pace.  (Hugi kicked ass, by the way, finishing in 59:06 — a 2 minute PR from the MCM 10k two weeks ago!)  So even though I was far from my goal of breaking an hour, I still took over a minute per mile off last year’s PR.

I guess not having a Garmin helped in a sense that if I had it, and knew how fast I was moving, I would have forced myself to slow down to a more tolerable 12 min/mile pace.

My breathing was a mess after I finished, everything hurt.  I stumbled out for some water, then we grabbed a banana and bagel and headed home.

I got home and promptly collapsed into bed.  I told Karl to wake me up in an hour, but I ended up waking up two hours later — he said he had tried to wake me up a few times with no luck (I don’t remember that at all!).  I was up for a couple of hours, but had to head back to bed again with a horrible headache and dizziness.

To sum up?  Sure, I got a PR, but I really wish I hadn’t run.  I can file that under “Carla’s stupid decisions”

Sunday was a waste of a day off (I was supposed to be cleaning and packing, I leave for Brazil in 2 days!), and I spent the whole day feeling sick.  I could have avoided it by taking it easy and staying home instead.

Lesson learned.

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Filed under 10k, Race Report

Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap

On Friday, I made my way from work to the expo, hoping that the Craigslist guy, who was switching his full bib with my 10k, wouldn’t flake on me.

He didn’t, but even though I was late getting into the expo, he was even more.  So by the time I was ready to explore, I had very little time to look around.  I still stopped by the Brooks part of the expo, and bought some MCM gear — because just like Chicago, might as well show off, no?

I got to meet B.o.B. from Discom-BOB-ulated Running!  How cool is that?  She is super nice!  We chatted for a bib, then I went off on my way to try to see some of the expo — but ended up bumping into more people I knew (seriously, I bumped into about 4 different people I know), and left without seeing anything!  B.o.B. was disappointed that this years shirt was too masculine, but I actually think it’s kind of cool.  Aside from the high neck, that’s typical of MCM race shirts and totally unflattering, the back looked pretty awesome:

Hugi and I went back to the expo on Saturday, but it was PACKED with people, so we didn’t stay long.  I spent the rest of Saturday home, relaxing (I may or may not have napped a couple of times), then off to carbo-load with Karl.  For some odd reason, I didn’t get a bit of sleep.  I wasn’t nervous, I even took a couple of melatonin to help me doze off, but no luck.

Getting to the race on Sunday was a nightmare.  I had checked the start line, and realized it was a 2 mile walk from my house.  Not wanting to walk 2 miles right before running a marathon (plus it was cold), I decided that it would be best to park in Crystal City (a 5 minute drive from my place) and take the shuttle.  BIG MISTAKE.  Even though I got to Crystal City at 6:15am, and my plan was to meet the group at 7am, I didn’t actually get to bag check, where our meeting point was, until 7:20.  The line for the shuttle was hundreds of people long.  I ended up standing for about 50 minutes, thinking how stupid I was, when I could have walked the 2 miles in much less time than that (and it would have been a lot less stressful too).

Luckily, Jane waited for me, so I wasn’t stuck running alone. Why the hell do I look like I weigh 300lbs in the picture below?  *sigh*

We checked our bags, made our way to the porta-potties, waited a long time in line until after the official start and finally walked over to the start line.  There’s an advantage to being in a big race:  even if you miss the start by 15 minutes, you still have plenty of time to get to the start line — and you’ll still have to wait around to cross it once you do so…  I even took a shot of me where you can see my brand new arm warmers that I got for my birthday from Kathy!  They were great, but by mile 4 or 5 I had already pushed them down as I was too hot.  Once the sun was out, it got warm quickly, but not hot — the weather was perfect, just perfect, for a marathon.  Ah, if it only had been like this in Chicago…

We started the race running towards Rosslyn, passing the Key Bridge, and into Arlington, on an area I never run in, and of course, this was the beginning of the hills!  The way back to Rosslyn was so pretty though, as the leaves were changing, and you could see the Cathedral across from the Potomac River.  It was peaceful. Of course, you can’t see a damn thing in my picture, but I promise it looked nice.

Back in Rosslyn, we went straight into the Key Bridge, taking Canal Road.  Right when we got to the Canal Road, who do I see coming with the crowd going in the opposite direction?  BOB!  I gave her a big shout out, she looked back and wave, but no idea if she actually recognized me!

As I’m running, I look to the side, and what do I see?  The C&O Canal Trail!  (Both of my twenty milers were there!)  It was nice to be on an unfamiliar road, but looking down at my familiar trail!

I needed to pee badly around this time (note to self: drinking two G2’s on my way to the race was not the best idea), and had to do the old pee-behind-the-bushes move.  Super, super classy.  But Jane and I were still keeping up pace, and a couple of minutes in front of our 5 hour goal time.

We hit a steep uphill shortly after that, then it was downhill to Georgetown (where the crowd support was great).  From there, we ran past the Kennedy Center, where I saw Karl and Kathy for the first time (yay!), under the Memorial Bridge, into Hains Point.  I’ve had many training runs in Hains Point, so I was ready for how boring it was.  It’s actually really pretty around there, seeing the Potomac on one side, the Anacostia River on the other, but the course was still crowded (and it was crowded until the end), so I wasn’t looking around me as much as I was looking forward.  At Hains Point, we also found the one bathroom with no lines, and took advantage of it.  It was a bit off the course though (hence, why no one else was using it, you had to know it was there), but since our group barbecues are at Hains Point, I knew there was a bathroom behind the playgrounds and off we went.  We were right:  there wasn’t a single person in there.  Plenty of toilet paper, running water…  Beats a stinky porta-potty any day!

This stop is what made us officially behind our 5 hour mark.  It was also shortly after this, at mile 14, where my feet started hurting badly.  The front of my shoes (they’re fairly new, remember?) felt way too tight, and it hurt with every.single.step.  A lot.  I could feel blisters forming, and I was in a lot of pain.  Not the same type of pain as before, where I feared it was an injury — this was very much shoe related.  Do you know when you wear uncomfortable high heels for hours on end and your feet just HURT?  Yep, that’s exactly how my feet felt like.  EXACTLY.  I think I’ll have to go back to the store and try something else.  They were just too damn uncomfortable.

Around mile 15 my right calf started cramping up, and by the time I reached mile 16, every few steps would bring a feeling of an electrical shock behind my right calf.  I saw Karl and Kathy for the last time until we reached the finish, and I yelled out “pain relievers, I need pain relievers!”   Jane stopped with me until Karl opened up the bottle, and I took some.  Jane pointed out how pretty this part of the run was, and I took out my camera, for the first time in over 10 miles — I just wasn’t feeling the pictures this time, I was struggling.  But I got one shot of the Lincoln Memorial…

We kept on running, but my calf wasn’t getting any better.  Jane suggested I take an extra endurolytes pill, to see if that would help.  I also stopped quickly to stretch it out on the sidewalk — that seemed to help, and a half mile later, the shocks went away.

It was around this time too, when I was considering giving up and walking.  I had calculated everything in my head, and knew that I could “beat the bridge” even if I walked (the 14th street bridge is at mile 20, and a bus slowly starts going up the bridge, picking up any runners who don’t make it in time before the bridge reopens to traffic, if you beat the bridge, you can finish the marathon).  I figured I could walk the next 10 miles, and still make it by the cut off time.  I wasn’t running under my name after all.  Jane convinced me to keep on going at least until mile 20.  I told her I would try.

As we were approaching the Capitol around mile 18, I knew that we would be heading out to the last part of the course…

Jane was super excited, because it was around mile 18 when she had to drop off the marathon in Chicago and get help from the medics.  She was officially past that by now, and still looking and feeling great!  I felt like shit, but Jane definitely deserved a picture!

We finally got to the mile 20 marker, and started looking for Kristy.  Kristy had run the MCM 10k that morning, and offered to pace us for the last 6 miles of our race.  I was so excited when I saw her, even though my energy level still sucked.  Kristy joined us and tackled the bridge with us.  Miles 20, 22 and 23 were my slowest miles  Going over the 14th street bridge for the second time in a week (we went over that at the Army Ten Miler just a week before) sucked.  I was exhausted, and though my calf was a lot better, my feet were still screaming in pain.  I had hit a wall at mile 14, and couldn’t shake it off.

Kristy did try her best to cheer me up, and her energy level was great.  Oh, don’t believe me?  I was even able to fake a smile!

Yep, Jane was still feeling awesome.  I just kept telling myself “5 miles to go, 5 miles to go…”  I wish Kristy’s energy had been contagious!

But I can still TOTALLY fake it for a camera.  Seriously, if you look at the picture below, you’d have no idea I was in so much pain.  Well, except for the major heel strike going on there — when the front of your foot hurts so much, you kind of avoid using it…  Jane’s enthusiasm?  Totally real!

But the bridge is just soooo boring.  I don’t know how Kristy managed to run this three times in a week (the 10k followed the same course as the last 10k for the marathon).

I pushed it through.  We passed through Crystal City, which was an out and back route, and a bit boring, despite the great crowd support.  I had run through Crystal City twice this summer on the two 5k’s I ran, and this is also where my Wednesday’s group run starts at, so of course, there was nothing new to see (not that I was even paying attention to anything at this point).  Somewhere in Crystal City I passed Hugi, who had run the 10k, and ran back home so she could stand 2 hours cheering for me, and we totally missed each other…

When we hit mile 25, I stopped looking at the Garmin, and just tried to concentrate on finishing it.  This was also our fastest mile, because we all wanted it to be over with.  At mile 26, Kristy saw Jen and jumped off the course to join her.  Karl was right by the hill at Iwo Jima and him and Kathy were cheering for us.  I sprinted up the Iwo Jima hill, which was my biggest mistake — I got to the top and realized I was done, just done, but I still had about 100 yards to the finish line.  You know how it feels like seeing the finish line that close and having NOTHING left?  Jane started sprinting, and noticed I couldn’t pick it up, and waited for me (seriously, she was an angel.  There was no way in hell I would have run the whole thing without her next to me!).

We finally grabbed each others hands, put them up in the air and crossed the finish together.  The official time?  5:04:00  (Jane finished a second in front of me — she deserved it!)  That’s an 11:36 pace.  I was again so short from my goal, but still unbelievable I got close to it at all, considering how miserable I was.  I started this race afraid for my left foot, and though I had pain, none of them were injury related.

It was such a different experience than Chicago.  In Chicago, I got a second wind at the Half Marathon mark, and hit my wall at mile 19.  I was bored, just bored out of my mind.  It was tired, it was hot, but my wall was all mental.  At the Marine Corps, mentally I was ok — I had company with me throughout the whole thing, which is what I need to push through, but this time my body didn’t want to cooperate.  Being in physical pain just sucked.  It felt like I was running with strappy heels.  My feet were in agony.

Jane was ecstatic, because this was her first marathon where she ran the whole thing.  She had successfully completed two marathons before, but she had walked at least five miles on those.  When we passed mile 21 she was giddy with excitement:  “This is the furthest I’ve ever run in my life!”  It seems that running with a slow poke like myself, I kept the pace pretty comfortable for her, so even though she was tired at the end, she wasn’t dying (gosh, I totally was dying!).

We parted ways right after the finish, when we got a professional shot in front of Iwo Jima, and she went home to change and head over to Patrick’s place for the after party (Patrick lives in the same complex as her).

I then took a self portrait of my tired but accomplished self…  The smile this time wasn’t completely fake.

And of course, I had to take a picture of me and the medal that was such a disappointment:

I picked up my bag at bag check, met up with Karl and Kathy, and we headed over to Patrick’s house, where I got to take the torture devices off my feet, munch on a bit of food, and Jane and I had the luck of having this unflattering finisher picture taken of us…

I also got to play with Patrick’s old medals.  So though our medal this year is cool, it doesn’t compare to the previous years.  Here is a side by side comparison…  I really love the Eagle, Globe & Anchor shape of the other medal.  Apparently it even won an award this year as best medal!  Why change what’s working??

Said that, it still look pretty nice on my medal holder!  (ACK!  I’m running out of space!!!)

I swore I would never run a marathon again.  This time I was just so miserable in pain.  But of course, now I’m already thinking of what I can run next year…  (Maybe Ottawa Marathon in May?)

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Filed under MCM, Pictures, Race, Race Report

Army Ten Miler Report – and a PR!

Yesterday I got up earlier than anyone should on a Sunday morning, and headed over to meet the rest of the running group for the Army Ten Miler (note to self:  we should meet about 15-20 minutes later when doing this next year, assuming I’m still in DC, that is).

I ran the Army Ten Miler for the first time last year (before I officially had a blog, but the mini-recap can be found if you scroll down to October on this page), and just like this year, it was super crowded and surprisingly disorganized.  The expo is still one of the most plain I’ve seen, considering the size of the event (there are 30,000 runners).  The start line has two corrals, where people are separated by color (different “waves” though there is no separate start time for the each of the waves), with not much reason to where each person is placed.  Last year, Karl was in the second to last wave, even though he had posted a 8 min/mile at his predicted finish time (he ended up running faster than that).  This year, he was put on the second wave (he is still injured though), while Gray, one of the guys from our running group who is a bit faster than Karl, got put on the 4th wave.

This was the course we would be running today — I think it’s the same as last year.  Despite hating the last two miles at the bridge (yes, mile 9 through almost 10 is at the bridge, even though the map doesn’t show, the bridge goes well beyond the river), I loved the rest of the course!  (Click for a bigger image)

Some of us early birds:  Angela, Kathy (as “where’s Waldo”), Jen, me, Kristy and Gray super early in the morning…

After leaving our things on bag check (including our jackets — it was a cold morning!), braving the porta-potties twice, we finally made our way to the start line.  And as always, I started taking pictures.

I was on the “orange wave” but there was no way to get there from the security point we had to pass.  It was already super crowded, so we settled into the white wave, which was one before ours, as it was the only one we could reach (the waves were placed on an overpass, so there’s no other way to get up there).  That was a lucky move though, as we were passing people the whole way — I’m glad we weren’t stuck where they had placed us!.  We waited, and 8am came and went and we still hadn’t moved.  See the picture below, on the top left side all those people under the bridge, behind the bushes?  Yep, that’s where everyone was peeing since we were just waiting for so freaking long for it to start.  And Jen and I finally had to succumb and join the group behind the bushes too.  Classy.

At 8:15, 5 minutes later than it was supposed to, we finally heard the gunshot for the second corral to start, and we slowly (sloooowly) started moving.

I think it was around 8:30am when we crossed the start line.  But off we went, on a super crowded course, on our way to the Memorial Bridge into DC…

Kathy was meant to keep me company, so I could get my PR goal of 1:45.  So far, my previous PR had been 1:54:34, at last year’s Army Ten Miler.  Since I had run 10 miles faster than that during my training runs, I knew that I could push it, but I had no confidence that I was going to be able to finish in 1:45.  My second, but more realistic goal, was a 1:50 finish time.  I knew that I could do.

I was feeling tired, I had gotten little sleep over the weekend, the course was super crowded (as you can tell by the picture above), but I figured I could pace myself and at least try.  I could also take unflattering pictures while running, of course…

Jen, Kristy and Hugi, all decided to run with me as well.  They had a “less than 2 hours” finish time goal, but none of them wanted to run alone (neither did I!), so they planned on sticking with me and Kathy for as long as they could (spoiler alert:  they stuck with me to the end!!!).

Of course, it was hard to miss Kathy, since she was dressed like this…

At mile 3, Kathy finally removed the hat “it’s too hot” — and I still wonder what kind of chafing her jeans (yes she was wearing jeans) caused.  Kathy planned to run the Marine Corps Marathon with this outfit (since it’s on Halloween), and she was testing it out today.

As the time passed, it was getting warmer and warmer.  By the second mile, it was already too hot (not Chicago Marathon hot, but hot nonetheless).

Angela passed us shortly after I took this picture, but we caught up with her again around mile 4, and lost her for good around mile 4.5, when she slowed down a bit.

Kathy also abandoned us at 4.5.  She complained that her knee was killing her — as much as I wanted company until the end of the race (remember, at this point, Kristy, Jen and Hugi were still planning on keeping up with us for as long as they could and had no idea that they’d be crossing the finish line together), I told her to be smart:  run until mile 5 then walk the rest.  She would still make the cut off time of 2.5 hours, get her medal, but her knee would only get worse if she kept pushing it.  So she took off, and we didn’t see her again.  (I caught up with her after the race, and she did walk most of the way after that, and her knee is now very swollen.  She probably won’t be running the Marine Corps Marathon…)

After around that time, I also stopped worrying about myself.  Until then, I kept going “we’re going too fast” and so on.  I just stopped caring, and figured if I burn myself out by going too fast, I only had 5 miles to go, so I could still finish with a PR even if I had to slow down later.

Even though I knew at times I was going too fast, I was still feeling pretty good, so I didn’t care…  Kristy still had a smile on her face too!

We were approaching the Capitol, which meant that once we passed it, we would be towards the end of our run!

Hugi kept complaining we were going too fast (but everyone knew I had a time goal!), but she never gave up either, despite the heat!  At mile 6.5 she was still looking strong!

I was also doing pretty good!

Kristy and Jen were doing ok!

Oh, you need more proof?

Finally in front of the Capitol — so many of our training runs were near here!

We finally passed mile 8 and reached the bridge.  I looked down at my Garmin and saw the time 1:21.  By then, I knew that even if I slowed down to a 12 minute mile, I would still make my 1:45 goal!  That was a great feeling!  Then I started thinking…  My PR was 1:54:34, maybe my new goal should be at least 10 minutes faster so I can say I took off a minute per mile off my pace?  I knew I could do it.

The bridge is BRUTAL.  It’s two miles on top of concrete, on the heat, with nothing to see but the crowds in front of you.  The right hand side is also open to cars, so you hear them zooming by.  It’s miserable, and I knew that and was ready for it from last year’s race.  It’s also the only true elevation we had on this course.

I didn’t let that stop me and with Kristy (who really got a second wind, but later she admitted she wanted to pee so badly that she HAD to run faster) I kept on going.  It was around this time I lost Jen and Hugi!

We were able to run the last two miles below a 10 minute mile pace.  It was good to look down and see the “9” on my Garmin.  I was tired, I wanted to walk, I wanted to give up, but Kristy definitely help me get through it and pushed me to the end!

We crossed the finish line holding hands with our arms up in the air (I hope they caught this picture!).  Turns out I finished 14 second faster than Kristy, since it looks like I crossed the start line first.  I feel bad!  I really thought we were exactly the same pace!

So how did I do?  Official finish time of 1:41:19 — a whole 13 minutes 15 seconds faster than my previous PR!  That means I took 1:20 off my pace!

I was SUPER excited (and later a bit peeved, as my Garmin registered 1:41:11, so I was hoping the official time was a bit less, since I started it a few feet before the start line).  Hugi and Jen were just a minute behind us and also finished in spectacular time!  (Remember, they both started hoping to finish in less than 2 hours!  How’s that for blowing their goal out of the water?)

Kristy was tired, but happy!  And to think she only made the decision to run at 5pm the day before, after one of my friends decided not to because of injury!

I was also super-sweaty, but DONE.  And could not freaking believe my finish time!

We grabbed our finisher’s coin then caught Jen and Hugi at the finish line (so so so crowded, I think it took us a few minutes to get across it and grab our coin).  I think Hugi is liking this running thing, and is starting to get addicted like we are!

Here am I with my finisher’s coin (I really should take a better picture of it to post it…)

Though the coin is cool, and a very military thing, I really wish I had a medal instead — it’s much easier to store it, specially now that I have a proper medal holder.  (I was creative, and was able to balance the coin on top of the holder — I post a new picture once I add the Marine Corps Marathon medal to it!)  Plus, I was afraid I was going to drop it and had no way to carry it.

Of course, the four of us who stuck together until almost the very end, deserved a picture!

And after we met up with a few more people from the group, we had to take another one!

Since Kathy had picked me up, I now didn’t have a ride home.  Jane and Tatiana tried to convince me to go out for brunch, but my stomach was starting to make itself noticeable (luckily I didn’t feel a thing during the run!), and I also had to get home in order to clean our place up, since my friend Gabriela was coming over later to (attempt to) teach Karl and I to dance, so we don’t look like nervous junior-high kids during our first dance.  (Have I mentioned that I’m the messy one, not Karl?  So there was no way of me skipping out of cleaning…)

So I called Karl up, told him how excited I was about my finish time, and made him walk towards me so I’d have company for part of my walk.  The one advantage of having a race that ends at the Pentagon, is that it’s a mile from my apartment…  And the walk is not too shabby, since I even pass the Air Force Memorial on the way!

The rest of Sunday went pretty well.  I was exhausted though, and had two failed attempts at a nap.  Then later we embarrassed ourselves by dancing, and went off with Grant and Gabriela for some delicious Thai food (where I promptly replaced all the calories burned during the race).

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Filed under 10 Miler, Army Ten Miler, Pictures, Race, Race Report

Chicago Marathon Official Pictures!

You may or may not have already read my ramblings about the race (and my weekend) here, but our official race pictures are out!

Now do I spend half my salary (ok, I’m exaggerating, but these things are EXPENSIVE) and buy them?

Here I am with Tracey and Jane, pre-race:

Another pre-race shot with Kim and Tracy:

And does it bother anyone else that it looks like my visor is not on straight?  I woke up so early, I couldn’t even dress myself.  *sigh*

No idea where this was, but it must have been early on, since there was still shade.  I think the light colored visor to my right, right next to the guy in blue is Tracy.

Always smile when you see the photographer, it makes you look like you’re actually enjoying yourself!

Here I just look like I’m concentrating too hard…  As if I’m actually trying to stay on top of the line.

You can tell the sun is getting to me.  Big time.  My run is more like a shuffle now.  (And why, oh why, do I run with my hands so far up my chest?)

Picking up the run, but doing some major heel strike here.  Don’t you hate finding out just how bad your form is when you see race pictures?

That girl in white must be high.  Who the hell has that much energy left to just give a big wide wide smile this far out in the course?

Finally, finally crossing the finish line!  I just wanted it all to be done with!

This one below is my favorite picture!  It seems I’m making a weird face, but whatever, I’m crossing the finish with my arms up!  And in case you were wondering, yes, at some point the speakers around mile 15 or so were playing “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes Saying AYO Gotta let go” and I totally threw my hands up in the air and sang along!  That was when I was still feeling great.  People were looking at my as if I’m nuts.

And finally, officially, DONE:

And one last picture before my hands got loaded up with beer and snacks (I couldn’t carry it all!):

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Filed under Chicago Marathon Training, Marathon Training, Pictures, Race, Race Report